- Trauma survivors have difficulty being in contact with the present.
- Engage them in nonjudgmental attention to thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
- With practice, clients can generalize the ability to use mindfulness skills.
Mindfulness is a process that can be described as the purposeful participatory nonjudgmental observation of whatever is occurring in the present. Mindfulness is often experienced as having qualities of creativity, vitality, and connectedness. In ACT, present moment awareness is the foundation of all of the work that is done between the client and therapist. One can’t truly engage any of the other ACT processes from any place other than the present moment.
Many trauma survivors have significant difficulty being in contact with the here and now. And ACT therapists can work with their clients using a variety of tools to be able to engage in nonjudgmental attention to thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. By practicing these skills in and out of session, the client will be able to generalize the ability to use mindfulness skills in order to be able to sit nonreactively with a wide variety of private events, even those that are related to a history of trauma.